Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: January 2010

I found this picture I took of my brother in my bedroom when I was maybe 11 or 12 years old, I don’t know, my brother is 3 years younger than I, how old does he look?
He was young enough to do whatever I told him to do … “put on that Indian headdress so I can take your picture by my stuff”.

Anyway, that book at the bottom of the stack is called “Mans Reach Into Space” .. I googled it and found this:

That’s the book! … haven’t seen that cover in 40 years.

One of the other items you see is my transistor radio, I would search the dial late at night for all kinds of music and would be happy if I just found some cool noises between channels … you know, space like noises … you can’t get that anymore with all this digital crap  … give me old fashion radio waves!

That other book on the left with the light colored spine looks familiar, can’t place it.

Above that is a little box I kept my coin collection in, and to the right of the radio is a framed 1899 silver certificate dollar bill that my grandmother gave me.

I painted that thing in the upper right hand corner, one of those paint by number deals.

I cut out pictures of some cool cars that I taped on the wall on the left side … that one looks like a station wagon … cool.


I have always had an interest in astronomy ever since I studied it in grade school, and as I learned about our planet, solar system, milky way, the universe, I have put myself “out there” visualizing it.

This video does what I have attempted to visualize:

Thinking about it … before learning about space I would visualize being “out there” much more locally. I grew up by railroad tracks and as a child lying in bed at night when a train would go by I would mentally board that train and “slip away”, it would start with me being in the boxcar … then above the train … going with it … it would lull me to other places … and to sleep. The best was on a summer night with all the windows open, you would hear the train coming for miles … then mentally jumping on when it was behind the house … and listening as it rumbled for miles in the distance, leaving my physical body behind.

“the entire universe is reflected in man”

That also reminds me of a book I found out about during an October 2006 interview with Joseph Arthur, which this is part of:

things are exactly how they are supposed to be

i am not my circumstance

i am not my situation

i’m beyond my circumstance and my situation

life sets up difficult situations that are there for your character to build through

-Joseph Arthur

Joseph mentions the book “I Am That” during the discussion which prompted me to search for it, finding a downloadable pdf file.

I downloaded that about six months ago and occasionally browse it … just now I opened that file and quickly scrolled down to randomly read part of it and fell on page 156 where my eye landed on “When I was younger, I had strange experiences …”

tonight’s full moon is the nearest to earth that it will be all year

while driving home from work today at the foot of the bridge was a man … not your typical homeless looking one, a regular looking guy … he had a cardboard sign that read “WILL WORK FOR FOOD AND SHELTER” … it’s rare to see that in our community … it was cold outside … 17°F

found this video from EELS’ new album … thought it fit somehow

Yesterday I read and responded to a blog entry Jennifer made about recurring dreams. I responded with: “A recurring dream I’ve had with a similar theme always revolves around school, in grade school or high school it was not having an assignment done or being late. In college it was just not going to class and realizing at the end of the semester I had to find where to go to take the final exam! The college/university dream I’ve had occur well after those school years, I guess it’s a just not being prepared dream.”

I just had that recurring dream last night, it was about looking for a math class location, I just started walking knowing I would recognize the building, go in and find the room. After walking in different directions and not finding it I looked at a campus map I had, no words were on the map, just shapes similar to the surroundings, it was of no help, it would tell me where I was but not where to go. I was approached by someone who recognized me, he was an important person, maybe the president of the university, he questioned me about a recipe he heard I had, when I told him he must be thinking about someone else and asking him for directions he responded with a “if you can’t help me I won’t help you” attitude. In crowds I ran into old friends. It then turned into a dormitory hallway with keys left in doors and broken locks, I collected those keys and attempted to repair the locks. Former coworkers were in that dorm, one asking if he could sleep in my room for a while because he no longer had a room to use. I myself was also trying to find a place to rest in this unheated bare dormitory.

The meaning of part of this dream I relate to a business equipment inventory tax filing that is due the end of the week, in the past it was a relatively simple task of adding purchases and deleting a few disposals and aging everything one year. This year it is much more involved with matching many deletions that have been on the depreciation schedule for decades that I have never had to identify before, categorizing obsoletes and researching filing rules that in the past I didn’t care about.

Back in the year 2000 CSNY was touring for the first time in over 25 years, I read an account of a fan who had gained access to one of their rehearsals at Cleveland State University, he ended up being like a fly on the wall for over five hours, what an experience! He even recorded part of the rehearsal and shared it with other fans. The first show of that tour was at the Palace in Auburn Hills Michigan, which I attended with my brother and our wives, we had front row seats! One of my memories of that show was being baptized by Neil Young … prior to one of the encore songs the band members went to the edge of the stage to acknowledge the crowd, Neil took his glass of harmonica water and threw the liquid onto the audience, I ducked but the majority of that water landed on the back of my head and down my shirt … yes the water that he dipped his harmonica in to keep the reeds moist, water with his spit and DNA. My hair dried hard like there was sugar or something in that water. At the end of the show we moved front and center (we were at stage left) and enjoyed the encore performance of “Woodstock” and “Long May You Run” from that perspective.

Two memories of that show that would have escaped me if I did not write them down are Neil and Steven walking out at the beginning with their arms around each others shoulders … and when Neil walked up behind Croz, center stage before the second encore, and gave him a big ‘bear hug’.

My notes also contained “most impressive songs”:
“Almost Cut My Hair”; David’s great vocals!
“Only Love Can Break Your Heart”; Neil directly in front of us on piano!
“Rockin’ In The Free World”; as good as any Horse version!

I was inspired by that stalking fan of 2000, so when I found out that a rehearsal for their 2002 tour was going to be in Saginaw (the first show again was at the Palace) … well … here’s installment #3 of my writers block deep dive into my hard drive …

CSNY 2002 Saginaw rehearsal


> > > At 07:54 PM 2/2/02 EST, I posted:

Yes, the CSNY crew is in Saginaw, as evidenced by 7 semi tractor trailer trucks outside the rehearsal venue. I spoke to Rocky (from Neil’s road crew, he ran the “Meet & Greets” during the ’99 solo tour) he said that the “boys” won’t be there until the day before the opening show and that they’re having set up and equipment rehearsals until then.

> > At 10:39:40 PM 2/4/02 EST, I posted:

……….add now 3 tour buses (between venue and hotel), and word from local venue employees of Tuesday PM rehearsals……….

> At 5:45:54 PM 2/5/02 EST, I posted:

… 5 more tour buses arrived (one of them Neil’s custom bus) and another semi tractor-trailer with a “Lionel Train” logo.

So …. a total of 8 semi tractor-trailer’s and 8 tour buses … and as of 3:30 pm no music has been heard coming from the venue, but it looks like everyone is there!


It appears that rehearsals were held between 4:00-8:00 pm today (Tuesday Feb. 5th). I arrive at that conclusion because I was there between 2:00 – 3:30 pm, Neil’s bus arrived about 2:30, and I returned that evening and saw it leave at about 8:30 pm.

But it was not time wasted for me….

… about 3:00 pm ….

The venue was very secure, almost impossible to enter. But when I went to the doors by the venue office, with the intent of going to the office to inquire about allowing me to enter for no other reason than being a fan, as I went through the first set of doors, of which you had to go to the office on the right because the second set of doors were locked, someone was leaving and as I grabbed the door they asked if I needed direction, I said “no, I think I know where I’m going”.

With not a clue I went to the left to find a door to a room that had about six tables set up and a buffet lunch. In that room was David Crosby sitting with his wife Jan, and a few others who I did not recognize. I peered in the door, took a deep breath, and said to myself “wow”. I proceeded past that door to the next, that one entered the same room, I again saw David, but also saw entering from a door on the other side of the room Neil’s son Ben in his wheelchair accompanied by two people, at first I thought one was Neil, but it was not. I then walked back to the first door and stood there for a few seconds before I got up the nerve to walk in and introduce myself to David Crosby, shake his hand, and ask for an autograph (I just happened to have the “Déjà vu” CD cover with me). As he signed it I apologized for intruding on his privacy, and apologized at least twice (I did feel like a heel bothering him, but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity!). He was very gracious about my intrusion. When he signed his autograph the table he set the CD cover on had one of those soft cushioned table clothes and he poked the pen through the paper, he said “oops, sorry” and started signing again with a lighter touch.

I thanked him and left the room and found my way to the arena, the smell of burning sage was present (a spiritual cleansing ritual that Neil had been doing on recent tours, I first experienced it on his 1999 solo tour). The stage was set and they were testing different light patterns on the screen behind the stage. I was on the upper level and proceeded toward the stage, I stopped when I was to the immediate right of it where I saw Larry Craig (Neil’s guitar tech) down by the stage side. I decided to sit down, trying to decide what to do, still in awe of being there! I thought it would be great if they started to rehearse, and I would just sit back and listen. Surveying the area and the people on the floor I noticed a bald elderly gentleman who could have been Mo Ostin or Ahmet Ertegun (recording industry execs known for their close involvement), not sure … but very possible.

After about 5 minutes I saw someone walking toward me on that same upper level I was on, it was a large black man, about 300 lbs …  shit! As he approached behind him was another man who I heard say something like, “were did they say they saw him”, the large man said, “he’s right here”. I was asked what I was doing, I said that I worked in the area and had heard of the rehearsal and thought I would check it out, he said it’s a private rehearsal and that I would have to leave … “by those doors right there” … pointing to the first exit he saw. I said I’m parked on the other side of the building, can I go out by where I’m parked, he said “no” … “those doors right there!” … I said “okay”.

When I was a child my grandmother would take us to a small restaurant near her house called “Three Sisters”, it was a diner type with stools at the counter and booths that were around the perimeter and a few tables in the center, as you walked in on your left was the jukebox, the one song I remember playing over and over was “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf, that song was released in the fall of 1968, so I would have been 10 years old. I know she would have taken us there before that age but my memory of it is surrounded by that song and eating a hamburger and fries. That hamburger taste is my benchmark for a hamburger, I also have a first pizza memory (from Pat’s Place) as my benchmark taste for pizza, it’s funny that now when I have one or the other with a similar flavor to those firsts, the memories come flowing back to me. A few months ago I went there for the first time in decades and had lunch with my son, it’s now an Italian/Pizza joint, there are new tables in the center but it’s the same counter, stools and booths, I recognized and vividly remembered the formica pattern on the tables! The burger I ordered was not a “benchmark” burger, but it was good.

Another memory of that location is when I was 15 years old and had a drivers permit, my grandmother let me drive her car from her house back to ours, pulling out from the street next to the diner I had to go quickly into traffic. Her car was different from my parents newer car I was use to driving, it had a quicker response when you stepped on the gas and a different steering ratio… so I pulled out into traffic with tires squealing and swerving into oncoming cars … I did regain control and was surprised my grandmother let me continue driving the rest of the trip home!

The name of the diner I had always thought may have had a special significance to my grandmother because she was one of three sisters in her family. My grandmother’s big sister was Mamie (born in 1893), grandma was the middle sister, Dora (born in 1896) and her little sister was Lenore (born in 1901) pictured below with their brother Jack (born in 1899).

The three of them died within a short period of time exactly four months apart to the day; Mamie (November 6, 1977), Lenore (March 6, 1978) and Dora (July 6, 1978). I don’t recall the circumstances of her sisters deaths but my grandmother was sitting on her front porch and had got up to go into the house when she fell, a nurse who lived nearby had been driving by and witnessed it, she stopped to assist her. My grandmother died early the next morning. Our family has always been very thankful for the immediate assistance my grandmother received from the passerby.
Uncle Jack lived into his 90’s passing in 1991, but word was he was apprehensive around November 6th 1978, being the only remaining child in the family; they did have two other brothers that died at younger ages.

I love Uncle Jack’s hat, shirt and tie … when I am old I will dress that way!

My grandmother’s first cousin, Sister M. Charlene Curl, a nurse, was called to Selma Alabama in 1965 to provide care for demonstrators who were injured.
I found out about Sister Charlene’s involvement in just the last few years, I don’t think it was something discussed much in the family back then, maybe too controversial? Or maybe Charlene never made a big deal of it. I would have been only seven years old then and it probably went right over my head.

Sister Charlene turned 94 years old on October 28, 2009.

Here’s a link to her story.

Pictured above is my Grandmother, Sister Peter (my grandmother’s sister), Sister Charlene (cousin) and Sister Imelda (who joined the convent the same time Sr. Peter did, they became best of friends), this picture was taken in the mid 1970’s in front of my grandmothers house.

“let’s beat everyone in our path”

“historical evidence that they typically did not kill …. just plundered, burnt, stole and carried off young women”

Installment #2 of my hard drive archives is from a document I saved on May 5, 2003 at 8:10 pm, searching the web recently I found its origin and extensive information on the “Border Reivers”.

It is a summary of a book on the history of Beatties of Scotland that I found interesting and humorous ….

He states that “BEAT’A'” ,the title of his book, is derived from the family tradition that this was shouted by the Beatties as they went into their reiving forays. Rev. Beattie says this translates as “let’s beat everyone in our path” but may have been used simply a clan cry referring to the family name.

With some good documentation and reasoning he debunks the following that we have seen in other sources:

  1. Linking the Beattie name with the MacBeth clan. He points out that this assertion is given in Scottish books on Tartans which are produced primarily for tourists. Also, some modern peddlers sell a “Beattie” tartan (McBeth plaid) which has its origins more in financial gain than in any historical reality.
  2. Liking the Beatties with Highland Scots. Rev. Beattie points out the Beatties were Lowland or Border Scots…not Highland Scots.

Rev. Beattie presents documentation and reasoning for the following assertions and facts.

  1. The existence of Beatties in areas of Scotland outside of the Border area is due to the occasional dispersal of reiver families from that area. He discusses the major dispersals in 1537 and 1598.
  2. “Beattie” is derived from a version of “Bate” which in turn comes from Bartholomew.
  3. Ancestors of the Border Beatties were Saxon refugees of the Norman Conquest, escaping from London or Northumberland in the eleventh century. In 1070, Princess Margaret (of the English House of Alfred) and her Saxon followers fled England from the onslaught of the Norman Conquest. Their ships were driven north to Scotland and into the Firth of Forth where she was taken to the court of the king of Scotland, Malcolm III, who was living in his new palace in Dunfermline. Margaret married Malcolm and her followers settled in the Dumfriesshire area.
  4. Rev. Beattie also points out that some historians consider Arkil of Northumberland, who moved across the border in 1066 to escape the Norman conquest, to be the founder of the sons of Bartholomew, Bates, Batesons, Battisouns, and Beatties of the Dumfriesshire area. Rev. Beattie points out that whether the Margaret theory or Arkil theory or some combination of the two is accurate…all point toward a Saxon origin of Beattie.
  5. He lists Baetie, Baitie, Baittie, Baitty, Batye, Baytie, Beatie, Beaty, Beatty, Betay, Betie, Bette, Bettie, Bety, and Betty as documented variations of Beattie.
  6. He provides some good detail on the town of Langholm in Dumfriesshire where “the Beattie are of the Borders is centred…” Being seventeen miles north of Hadrian’s Wall and only eight miles from the present day England – Scotland border it has seen a great deal of varied history.
  7. Unlike some Reiver families, Rev. Beattie points out that the Beatties have always been on the Scottish side of the border and that Northumberland English has been predominant on both sides of the border.
  8. Rev. Beattie discusses some dates in border history significant to Beatties:
    1. 1455 – The Beatties aid Red Douglas in the overthrow of Black Douglas at the battle of Arkinhom, 1 May 1455. As a reward King James II (1437-1460) made several grants of land to the Beatties for their services to the Crown. This firmly established the family around Langholm and the Eskdale area.
    2. 1504 – Adam Batie was hanged by the criminal court at Dumfries for being part of the “king’s rebels…of Eskdale..”
    3. 1537 – the year of the greatest dispersal of Beatties from Langholm with migrations to the north of Scotland, to Ireland and to Galloway. Some evidently remained in the area also. See story at the end of this list.
    4. 1544 – Beatties and other Border clans came under the English. 116 Beatties were noted under the leadership of a Sander Beattie.
    5. 1547-48 – Under English leadership -the Lennoxes, Armstrongs, Beatties, and Littles sacked and burned the town of Annan.
    6. 1585 – The Maxwells, Armstrongs, Scots, Beatties and Littles attacked the Johnstone castle of Lockwood.
    7. 1598 – more Beatties were despersed and the clan was effectively broken up. Rev. Beattie claims some went to Northumberland in England from where they had migrated five hundred years earlier.
    8. 1618 – the list of “last of the Border blackguards” included the family name of Beattie.

1537 story – Rev. Beattie relates in detail the series of events resulting from King James V (1513-1542) stripping the Beatties of Eskdale of their lands and giving the lands to Robert Lord Maxwell. Seems that when Maxwell summoned the Beatties to acknowledge him as their feudal superior, the Beatties declared the royal grant was unjust. As the Beatties were mustering against him Ronald Beattie, the chief, gave Maxwell a fast, white mare to flee on. Maxwell shortly sold the lands to Scott, Warden of the Middle Marches. Scott and his men seized the Beattie possessions and divided up the 40-50 Beattie estates. Maxwell, however, appealed to Scott to reward Ronald Beattie for saving Maxwell’s life. As a result, Beattie was given the perpetual tenant-right of Watcarrick, one mile south of Eskdalemuir. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) states that the Beattie descendants continued to occupy Watcarrick into the 19th century.

9.    Analyzing the 1988 telephone directories, Rev. Beattie states that in 1988 there were 2,213 Beattie households in Scotland and 478 in England. He limits this to an accounting only of the “Beattie” spelling, although earlier he lists the other spellings above as variations on the same family. Likewise, some statistics from Ireland are gathered in the same limiting manner.
10.    Rev. Beattie also argues that the Reiver families have been given some what of a bad rap. He claims and points to historical evidence that they typically did not kill …. just plundered, burnt, stole and carried off young women! So the arsonists, abductors, and theives are acquitted of murder!
11.    One informative point for researchers made by Rev. Beattie is that due to the centuries of reiving/raiding in the Border area early church records do not exist. The Armstrongs by themselves supposedly burned over 100 churches.

“lumen coeleste sequamur”
(may we follow heavenly inspiration)

I’ve been having writer’s block of late, not that I consider myself a writer, but something worth putting here is just not coming to mind lately.

I’ve been digging into my hard drive searching old files, so my plan is to post some of the finds here, installment #1 will be called “alone”.

I found some IMs (instant messages) I saved from when my youngest son first went away to college, and reflecting on my own first away from home experience I realized that form of technology to communicate was not there, or cell phones for that matter, it was a land-based phone that more often than not someone else was nearby overhearing any conversation; there was no aspect of privacy in a college dormitory!

Was I more alone without IM or email or cell?

September 6, 2003 – Saturday 8:26am
son:  hi dad
dad:  hi
son:  wanna see something me and my room mate made yesterday?
son:  I’m pretty proud of it
dad:  sure
dad:  what ya doing this weekend
son:  today, devon, kelly, and chris are coming down to visit, tomorow: I have to buy more stuff for class and do some concet drawings for 2d design
son:  thats about it
son:  what adress do you want me to send the pictures to?
dad:  dad@
son:  k
son:  the story is: my room mate drew a character from a story I wrote, I explained as he drew
dad:  i’ll check it out, gotta go to work now
son:  and then I scanned it and inked it out in photoshop and added some special effect
son:  k
son:  bye
dad:  love you
son:  you too dad 🙂

September 9, 2003 – Tuesday 8:54pm
son:  hey dad
dad:  hi andrew, how are you
son:  i’m good
son:  are you home this weekend?
dad:  i never got the picture you were going to e-mail me
dad:  yes i’m home this weekend
dad:  i just got back from a meeting in las vegas
son:  I might come home this weekend
son:  wondering what times you’ll be home
son:  I already know mom isn’t gonna be home untill sunday
dad:  arn’t you coming home the next weekend
son:  this weekend
dad:  no, for all saints homecomming
son:  yea
son:  that too
dad:  why this weekend?
son:  cuz I dont have alot of homework… and I miss home
dad:  you miss meeeee
son:  I’m coming home whether you like it or not dad 🙂
dad:  I said …you miss meeee??
dad:  say it, go ahead
son:  I miss you… dad
dad:  see, I can be weird even instant messaging, can’t get away from it!
son:  but what times will you be home and not home… cuz i’m gonna stop by friend’s houses and such and I wanna stop home when your there
dad:  don’t know for sure, are you bringing home laundry?
son:  absolutly
son:  maybe a girl or 2
son:  then I’ll ask you for some money… and book it back to detroit 🙂
dad:  are you gonna leave one of the girls?
son:  sure
dad:  to do laundry?
dad:  when will you be here, friday?
son:  yea
son:  or thursday night
son:  do you work friday?
dad:  yes i work friday, gotta go, i’ll call you in the next day or two.
son:  kk
son:  bye dad
son:  love you
dad:  bye, love you too

October 12, 2003 – Sunday 12:43am
son:  hi dad
dad:  hi, what ya doin’
son:  hi dad
son:  doing some homework… I’m taking a short break right now
son:  how are ya?
dad:  i’m good, you’re doing homework this late?
son:  yea, everyone is gone in the appt. so its a good time to get some stuff done
dad:  that’s good, do you have any friends over?
son:  no
son:  just me
dad:  hope you’re not lonely, have fun doing your work, i’m going to bed now .. goodnight, love ya.
son:  night, love you too

October 14, 2003 – Tuesday 5:06pm
son:  hi dad
dad:  hi
son:  sorry, you trying to sign off?
dad:  no, i just signed on
dad:  i was swithching to my b@com, i put in the b, then you must of im’ed me
son:  I got an A- on my midterm drawing!
dad:  GREAT!
dad:  did you get an idea of how you are doing in all your classes
son:  no just foundation drawing
dad:  please check and find out about ALL your classes
dad:  or i’m gonna kick your ass
son:  like a B
son:  cuz I’ve gotten Cs or C+s on all my drawings so far
son:  then the midterm one came up… and I got an A- 🙂
dad:  don’t make me come down there and open a can of wup ass on ya.
son:  ok
son:  I will
son:  I have to go do the dishes now
son:  bye
dad:  find out about your other classes, talk to the teachers, please
son:  love you
dad:  love ya too

October 28, 2003 – Tuesday 7:43pm
son:  i got all that work done
son:  I stayed up all night
dad:  great!
dad:  how do you think you did
son:  scott had alot too, so we just kept each other motivated and worked all night
son:  I did good on my drawing and my essay
dad:  what class was it for
son:  foundation drawing and 2d studio
dad:  did you make a doctors apt. yet?
son:  no
dad:  please do
son:  why dont I just goto the doctor in BC?
son:  I’m there every weekend anyways
dad:  no, you need to follow up with Dr. H, he did the lab tests, do you want us to make the apt. for you?
son:  sure
dad:  ok
dad:  are you done with your creative visualation project
son:  yea
dad:  Don’t forget about your eye dr appt on Friday be home before 11:30am.
son:  I thougt it was at 1?
dad:  It is but you can’t be late.
dad:  With all that staying up all night–you didn’t fall asleep in class did you?
dad:  Are you staying home all weekend or are you going back on Friday?
dad:  Hello, anybody out there?
son:  I’m going to my friends house on saturday night
son:  so I’ll be going back sunday
dad:  what are you doing at a friends/who?
son:  halloween party
son:  eric j’s
dad:  do you have to dress up???
son:  yea
dad:  what are you going to be .. a cowboy??
dad:  a fireman??
son:  Shuichi Kun from Gravitation
dad:  a ghost??
son:  its one of those crazy cartoons I watch
dad:  oh, I was gonna say WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!
dad:  mom says hi.
son:  hi mom
dad:  Matthew say hi too
son:  hi matthew
dad:  matthew wants to know if you are excited about the concert
son:  hell yea 🙂
dad:  remember we have Ian anderson next Tuesday, are you excited about that!
son:  yes
dad:  just yes, not hell yea:)
dad:  have a good night, love ya … Dad, Mom & Matthew ..
son:  night